SFU's Community Economic Development programs support individuals and communities to build sustainable, local economies. We have two flagship programs, the Certificate Program for Community Economic Development and the Local Entrepreneurship Accelerator Program (LEAP!).

Certificate Program for Community Economic Development

SFU's Certificate Program for Community Economic Development equips people to build thriving local economies in the communities where they live.

The program is part-time, over eights months, with 2 one-week residencies and the rest of the program delivered in a live, interactive, online classroom.Our courses are relevant, and practical, and our instructors are accomplished CED practitioners. Throughout the program, we focus on skill-building, personal growth and developing leadership skills.

Every year, we have a wide mix of students from across the province: community builders, social workers, social entrepreneurs, communicators, community economic developers and other movers and shakers of all different stripes. When selecting our cohort, attitude and experience matter most. We seek applicants who want to make positive change in their communities.

When you join SFU's CED program, you join a network of people committed to building strong, sustainable local economies. Our program design intentionally facilitates the building and maintaining of relationships. We know that your network can be your strongest resource and we help students & alumni connect through events, newsletters and social media.

Visit our website to find out more about our program, our courses and our instructors.



Local Entrepreneurship Accelerator Program (LEAP!)

LEAP! is an eight week accelerator program for brand new start-up social entrepreneurs in rural B.C.

Using a lean start-up model, LEAP! prepares small groups of entrepreneurs to launch new local businesses in their communities.

Communities with strong local economies are more resilient, have a lower carbon footprint, and are better insulated against global economic ups and downs.



100% of LEAP! participants learned the lean start-up process.

77% of LEAP! participants decided to launch a business.

To date, 28 businesses are now operating in the market.

83% of LEAP! participants are women.


LEAP! is an initiative of SFU Community Economic Development, and is delivered in partnership with community-based organizations.

To find out more about LEAP!, and about how to partner with SFU to bring this program to your community, visit www.sfuleap.ca.